Corporate Animals (2019, dir. Patrick Brice)

A team-building weekend goes awry when colleagues are trapped in a cave. Poor entry in the office politics horror-comedy sub-genre, with a decent cast struggling with under-powered scripting, direction, and lighting choices. There’s nice Gary Sinise and Britney Spears running gags, but that’s about it.

Here’s the trailer.

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (2019, dir. Xavier Burgin)

An overview of black representation and industry participation in (mostly) US horror films. An excellent documentary, clear and straightforward, but with some weight to its ideas as well as being accessible to wider audiences. Plenty of clips, plus interviews with genre figures and academics. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015, dir. John Madden)

Sonny and Sunaina are to be married, but complications arise when an expansion plan is threatened. With the hotel residents’ stories pretty much told in the first movie, this sequel struggles to justify itself, lifting instead the plot of a Fawlty Towers episode. Still, fans won’t complain, plus Richard Gere twinkles in support.

The Mummy (1959, dir. Terence Fisher)

A group of English archaeologists are targeted for revenge killings by an Egyptian priest. Dated, stage-bound, though still enjoyable minor Hammer horror movie, assembling its script from across the Universal flicks. Interestingly, the villain’s motives now appear perfectly reasonable, even if his methods are extreme.

Project Power (2020, dir. Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman)

Multiple parties search for the source of a New Orleans street drug, which grants a superpower for five minutes. Flashy and confident if superficial mashup of Limitless and the 70s TV show Gemini Man. Plenty of incidental fun tho, especially in the first two acts.

Curse of Chucky (2013, dir. Don Mancini)

A dysfunctional family is tormented by a killer doll. A reboot for the DTV market, and something of a back-to-basics effort, though with nods to series continuity. Nevertheless, there’s plenty for Chucky fans (this is the sixth movie), even if budget limitations restrict both locations and SFX.

The Wind (2018, dir. Emma Tammi)

A remote homestead may be plagued by a demon. Good-looking and well-played psychological horror, making effective use of location shooting and its Western genre context. Tricksiness with time and character motivations limit its impact, but there’s more than enough here to want more from writer and director.

The Final Wish (2018, dir. Timothy Woodward, Jr)

A bereaved young man finds his luck has changed for the better, but at a cost. Patchy The Monkey’s Paw variant, its magpie script lifting business from all over including, oddly, The Omen. Some of it works, but we’ve seen this done more confidently before. Old hands Lin Shaye and Tony Todd help though.

The Debt Collector 2 [AKA Debt Collectors] (2020, dir. Jesse V Johnson)

French and Sue go to Las Vegas on the promise of a payday. DTV martial arts comedy-thriller sequel that’s a cut above. The mix of bickering and bar fights as before, though there’s some panache in the direction, the action choreography, and the chemistry between the leads. Recommended for genre fans.

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019, dir. Richard Phelan & Will Becher)

A stranded alien causes havoc at Mossy Bottom Farm. Aardman does ET, basically. And pretty well, too. This second Shaun movie is gorgeous-looking, as English as tuppence, has a high gag-to-minute ratio, and enough genre shout-outs to please the most demanding of SF faithful. The best flick of its type since, oh, Paddington 2.